Magazine for the professional limousine, charter and tour industry.
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70 LIMOUSINE, CHARTER & TOUR JANUARY 2017 WWW.LCTMAG.COM Making Car Seats Worth It A family traveling with chil- dren often asks for car seats or boosters. Parents have them at home, and at their destinations, but just for the ride to or from the airport, we livery folk often provide the seat. This seems to be a standard offering, some- times as a free courtesy or for a fee. But the transaction is seldom the premium service it should be. Like many other specialties, it may be wisest to outsource this amenity. Par- ents, law enforcement, drivers, and your insurance company may all be happier. What To Provide Travelling parents cannot possibly know the car seat laws at every destination. If operators provide the seats, shouldn't we know the rules? This is a legal issue that will sour parents, po- lice enforcement, and your insurance company. Just look at the differences between some of the largest states. New York is comparatively lax, while New Jersey is extremely specific — driving across these two state lines with a child in the car is taking a risk because the rules change a lot. Keeping it Clean Every insurance company that insures our fleets says we and our employees should never install the car seat because we should not take on the liability of proper installation. But if we transport car-seat-aged children, we will always be liable for safety. Add the safety issue of bacteria and grime left by previous occupants, and it is easy to understand why insurance agents and parents are not pleased with car seats and boosters. Don't Go It Alone Imagine opening the trunk at the airport pick up location and hav- ing parents see their child's travel needs already there, including a playpen and stroller. Many airports have rental services that make child travel easier for parents and smarter for us. Companies like Baby's Away and Toddler's Travels offer sanitized rental equip- ment that is legal, insured, and professionally installed, often right at the airport. Rather than stockpiling banged up seats we know are never cleaned, consider offering to pick up exactly what parents order for a car seat, have them professionally installed, and even pick up the rental stroller and playpen while you're at it. Then, we can charge a premium fee for an unquestionably first- class service. Let LCT know your experience with these services in a future issue. Don't take on the added hassle and liability risk. Here's a way to customize the service and satisfy every client with a child. A Solution To The Car Seat Shuffle By Anne R. Daniells, LCT contributing writer ASK LCT I JANUARY 2017 California operator ANNE DANIELLS has more than 25 years of experience in corporate America and the limousine industry, and once owned an LCT Operator Of The Year Award-winning limousine company. She can be reached at Anne@lctmag.com. *These guidelines are based on state websites and are for comparison only. Exceptions apply. Check your state for current law. Paris Luff, granddaughter of LCT contributing editor Jim Luff, shows how a car seat should accommodate a child passenger in a limo vehicle. (File photo by Jim Luff w/permission from parents)